I’ve come to the un-egotistical conclusion that I am an extraordinary human being. I’m smarter, maturer, more conscientious, more ambitious, more passionate, more honest, more dependable and more motivated than the majority of the population. I sound like a real asshole, but I swear it’s not pompous for two reasons: 1. It’s not intrinsically impressive; 2. I don’t believe these qualities give me greater moral worth.*
I’m frequently disappointed, bored, or hurt by people simply because I expect them to be like me, and they’re not. And since, empirically, people like me are rare, that makes us by definition extraordinary, while everyone else is ordinary. The bar of extraordinariness is not set high. (For the record, my friends are extraordinary, too).
Coming to this realization will help me accept differences in opinion or clashing worldviews. I like to justify or rationalize my opinions by arguing them with someone who doesn’t share them. Every time I do that, though, I walk away with more self-doubt than I did at the beginning because the other person’s mere disagreement cracks holes in the foundations of my beliefs. It’s worth it with a fellow extraordinary person, because those cracks are legitimate and should be examined. However, it’s not worth destabilizing your world view for an ordinary person because he/she simply lacks the maturity/brains/worldliness you have. You’re not on an even playing field.** Now that I realize this basic law of nature, I’ll be able to relieve myself of reckless self-questioning.
It’s good to not be too self-assured, but that doesn’t mean I have to subject myself to constant destabilization in the pursuit of truth. A part of growing up is getting better at not doubting yourself. I’ve wasted so much energy over the years worrying about if what I’m inclined to do or feel is “right.” While there may not be an absolute right or wrong, I’m trusting my instincts more wholly, recognizing that they are reflective of what’s “right” for me.
*In addition, I recognize I am behind the pack in some categories, namely athletics.
**Granted, it’s conceivable that you could learn a thing or two from an ordinary person.